The big story is: Did Hunter Biden introduce that Ukrainian businessman to his vice president father?

The social media angle of the Hunter Biden email story has nearly taken over public discussion of the piece published in the New York Post.


2020 Elections

Washington Examiner

Sunday, October 18, 2020

On Hunter Biden, remember the real story

by Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent | | October 16, 2020 07:50 AM

The social media angle of the Hunter Biden email story has nearly taken over public discussion of the piece published in the New York Post, headlined “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.” Yes, it’s true that Twitter and Facebook censorship of the story is outrageous. The social media giants have taken a giant step toward earning new regulations from Washington. But the social media story isn’t the big story.

The big story is: Did Hunter Biden introduce that Ukrainian businessman to his vice president father?

That would be important for two reasons. One, we already know that the corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, put the younger Biden on its board to win influence with the Obama administration, whose point man on Ukraine policy was Hunter Biden’s father Joe, then vice president of the United States. The New York Post story suggests that Burisma actually got something for the $50,000 (or more) it was paying Hunter Biden.

The New York Post story might also shed light on Joe Biden’s flat denial of knowledge about Hunter Biden’s Burisma connection. “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Joe Biden said in September 2019. As for Hunter Biden, the New Yorker reported in July 2019 that “As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: ‘Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.'”

Now, the New York Post has published an email, reported to be from a Burisma executive to Hunter Biden. The New York Post says it was sent on April 17, 2015, when Joe Biden was vice president and Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s board. “Dear Hunter,” the executive, Vadym Pozharskyi, wrote, “Thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

Democrats and Biden’s partisans in the press pushed back ferociously. It’s Russian disinformation, they claimed, without any specific knowledge that it was Russian disinformation. Facebook limited the distribution of the New York Post story. Twitter banned it altogether. All of this was done before anyone made any serious attempt to confirm the allegation.

The Biden campaign denied it all. “The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story,” spokesman Andrew Bates said. “They certainly never raised that Rudy Giuliani — whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported — claimed to have such materials. Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”

The last sentence is what matters. With it, the Biden campaign seemed to be flatly denying that Hunter Biden introduced Pozharskyi to Joe Biden. Of course, one could parse the meaning. For example, the statement referred only to Biden’s “official schedules.” There could not have been some sort of unofficial introduction, could there? And the statement said that no meeting “as alleged by the New York Post” ever took place. There could not have been some sort of introduction that did not fit the allegation in the New York Post, could there? Certainly the Biden campaign would not make a lawyerly, evasive statement like that, would it?

The answer is not clear. Especially after Politico reported: “Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory. Pozharskyi did not respond to a request for comment.”

Oh. That reporting, if accurate, made the situation a bit murkier. Perhaps there had been an “informal” interaction between the elder Biden and Pozharskyi, but it would just have been “cursory.” In other words, the New York Post article, banned by social media, denounced by many journalists, might be accurate.

Hunter Biden’s lawyer told the Washington Post that “this purported meeting never happened.” But the Washington Post fact-checker noted, of the various denials, “This does not exclude the possibility that [Joe] Biden briefly shook hands and chatted with Pozharskyi during a public event. Hunter Biden, for instance, helped arrange for a potential business partner, Jonathan Li, to shake hands with his father in the lobby of a Beijing hotel when the vice president made an official trip to China.”

That’s not nothing. Does anyone remember the Trump-Russia investigation? There were news stories that characterized a handshake and a chat between a figure in the Trump circle and a Russian, such as Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as “contacts with Russians” worthy of investigation. Robert Mueller’s prosecutors investigated one such meet-and-greet moment at the 2016 Republican convention, taking testimony under oath from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Trump aide J.D. Gordon, and others. Prosecutors also questioned Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about a handshake and chat with Kislyak. Now, when the Biden campaign allows that there might have been an “informal” and “cursory” encounter between Joe Biden and an executive from the corrupt Ukrainian company that was paying his son $50,000 a month to do nearly nothing, much of the political world’s reaction is not only to deny the story without investigating but to praise social media companies for banning it.


About kommonsentsjane

Enjoys sports and all kinds of music, especially dance music. Playing the keyboard and piano are favorites. Family and friends are very important.
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